THE country’s new tourism campaign that was recently unveiled by the Department of Tourism may still be revised because of criticisms that it is similar to the promotional ad of South Africa, an official said Wednesday.
“Everything is not final. We are also sensitive to the reactions. There could be revisions and we might call for a meeting,” Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre said in a radio interview.
The video entitled “Sights” shows Japanese retiree M. Uchimura dancing with the locals at the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, riding an ATV in Paoay and enjoying snacks on Calle Crisologo in Vigan City.
Toward the end of the video, Uchimura, took out his walking stick to navigate Calle Crisologo, revealing that he is blind.
Netizens immediately criticized the video, saying it was copied.
Alegre said the department has asked the maker of the ad campaign, McCann Worldgroup, to review the material.
“Secretary Wanda has been very sensitive to the reaction regarding the ad,” Alegre said.
“There are similarities but it’s a different creative matter. The one that we have is a real Japanese resident,” he said.
The Department of Tourism has a budget of P650 million for its tourism ads with McCann, which won the deal last year.
Sen. Nancy Binay said the DOT should penalize the advertising agency for coming out with “unoriginal” work.
Binay, chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, said it was not the first time that the Tourism department came out with a controversial advertising material.
In 2010, the department and ad agency Campaigns and Grey were also criticized for the “Pilipinas kay Ganda” logo, which netizens claimed was lifted from Poland’s tourism logo.
In 2012, the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” was also questioned because of its striking resemblance with the “It’s more fun in Switzerland” tagline made in 1951.
“We should start penalizing ad agencies for giving our departments, especially the DoT, ripped off creative handles or not-so-original work,” Binay said.
and Jefferson Antiporda